The Austrian actor, who can next be seen in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, is set to portray the Soviet leader opposite Michael Douglas as former president Ronald Reagan. The film follows Reagan's sojourn to Iceland in October, 1986 to meet with Gorbachev for Cold War peace talks.
"I feel very fortunate to have two such masters to portray the men who brought about the end of the third great war of the 20th century," Newell said.
"The film will offer the viewer a unique look into two larger than life figures who served as the catalysts for one of the most defining moments in our history, the end of the Cold War," said Scott Free president Ridley Scott.
Written by Kevin Hood, the film will be produced by Headline Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Participant Media and Mark Sennet Productions. Filming is scheduled to star in March in Reykjavik, Iceland and Studio Babelsberg, Germany.